Review: White Fragility

Dr Robin Di Angelo holds a PhD in Multicultural education and has worked in the field of diversity for over a decade. This book sparked a conversation around white people’s position in society when challenged, ironically the resistance it commonly fuels is the subject of the book’s contents.

“This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress, leading to what I refer to as White Fragility. White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium.”

I will not give away too much here but as the adage goes:

‘A white woman cries, and a black man dies’

This book succinctly describes how our reactions are weaponised and are designed to uphold the status quo.

This book succinctly describes how our reactions are weaponised and are designed to uphold the status quo. Click To Tweet

No one gets a pass here; Di Angelo states what people of colour know that white progressives are often exhausting to people of colour. People who think they are doing good are often those upholding the systemic oppression on a daily basis, Yes, that’s hard-hitting, but I have to agree.

A white woman cries, and a black man dies Click To Tweet

This book expertly deals with issues such as white solidarity, reverse racism and systemic whiteness. I found this book challenging even as a man of colour the reminders of resistance manifesting as anger, shutdown and tears were equally as applicable as I hold privileges and the fragility too. This only thing missing from the book is black scholarship, she does mention Fanon but only in passing.Let me know what you think.

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The book is available here or below. 



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